• Build Quality
    (5)
  • Aesthetics
    (4)
  • Overclocking
    (2.5)
  • Compatibility
    (5)
  • Fans
    (4)
  • Price
    (4.5)
  • Size Friendliness
    (5)
Overall
4.3

Summary

Noctua has continued to release their greatest coolers in the chromax.black series, and the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black is the latest. The NH-L9i is Noctua’s first small cooler designed for ITX and HTPC builds. Noctua’s favorite coolers are re-released with an all-black finish for an all-black stealthy aesthetic in the chromax.black series. The all-black style extends not just to the outside but also to the heat pipes, fans, vibration cushions, and screws.

Pros

  • 100% RAM and PCIe Clearance
  • Compact Design
  • Silent at up-to 65W
  • High Performance
  • All-black Aesthetic

Cons

  • Not meant for Overclocking

Noctua has been the apex of coolers in the P.C. business, and with time they keep on impressing us. The latest in the Noctua lineup is the chromax. Black series, which re-introduces our favorite Noctua coolers in an all-black aesthetic. Noctua came into being after the well-known Rascom Computerdistribution, and Kolink International joined hands in 2005. Since then, Noctua has not looked back; they’ve been the best choice among all PC users. 

From the enormous Noctua NH-D15S to the tiny Noctua NH-L9i, Noctua has a lineup of Coolers that have all proven outstanding in cooling capabilities. In this post, we’ll unbox the Noctua NH-L9i and put it to the ultimate test to determine if it’s worth the hype. We’ve already evaluated numerous Noctua Coolers, including the Noctua NH-D15S chromax.black and Noctua NH-U12A chromax.black, so we have high hopes for this one.

You may also check our unboxing and video review of the product.

Awards for Noctua NH-L9i By Tech4Gamers:

The newest chromax.black series provides the Noctua coolers a modern aesthetic appeal, with all heat pipes, fins, and fan clips coated in black. Except for the black color, the newer Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black is quite comparable to the non-chromax.black NH-L9i. For the ultimate experience, the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black boasts an entire black shell with all black attachments. You would believe that such a color coating might impact the thermals, but don’t worry; Noctua is a name synonymous with quality and consistency. In terms of cooling performance, the newer Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black is equivalent to the preceding NH-L9i. Because it supports 100 percent RAM and PCIe, the Noctua NH-L9i CPU Cooler might be extensively utilized by casual users in micro-itx projects. Furthermore, CPUs with a T.D.P. of roughly 65W are typically suggested.

Noctua NH-L9i
NOCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black

Noctua NH-L9i Chromax.Black Specifications

OCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black Specifications

Some of the Key-Features of the Noctua NH-L9i is:

  • chromax.black Design
  • 37mm Low Profile
  • 100% RAM Compatibility
  • 100% PCIe Compatibility on Mini-ITX
  • NF-A9x14 P.W.M. Premium Fan
  • SecuFirm2 Mounts for LGA115x

Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black Unboxing

The Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black comes in a glossy black packaging, the same as the other Noctua chromax.black series coolers. The image of the actual Cooler is on the top, along with the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black logo and a badge for the award-winning Cooler.

Noctua NH-L9i Unboxing
NOCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black Packaging Top

The Cooler’s front features the same glossy Look like the top, with nothing but a large CHROMAX by Noctua logo.

Noctua NH-L9i Unboxing
NOCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black Packaging Front

The heatsink and fan specifications are on the left side of the box. It also mentions Noctua’s 6-year warranty.

Noctua NH-L9i Unboxing
NOCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black Packaging Side

The product number in the barcode is the only thing on the other side.

Noctua NH-L9i Unboxing
NOCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black Packaging Rear

The Cooler’s dimensions are 95x95x37 mm. A complete evaluation of the essential characteristics of the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black is also included.

Noctua NH-L9i Box
NOCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black Packaging Side

The logo appears on the bottom side of the container, along with the significant characteristics described on the side.

Noctua NH-L9i Box
NOCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black Packaging Bottom

By lifting the top, we can see the Cooler and the Noctua Paste, and other necessary components attached to the thick piece of foaming. The Noctua badge and the Noctua Manual are also included.

Noctua NH-L9i Accessories
NOCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black Packaging Unboxing

We got 4x screws for 92x92x25mm fan below the thick foaming and cardboard.

Noctua NH-L9i Accesories
NOCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black Packaging Unboxing

We didn’t anticipate a lot of accessories, given the Cooler’s modest size compared to other Noctua coolers, yet all we got was;

  • NF-A9x14 P.W.M. premium fan
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
  • Screws for 92x92x25mm fans
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge

Closer Look at the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black

In the latest chromax.black series, Noctua has been re-releasing their most great coolers, including our favorite Noctua NH-L9i. The Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black is Noctua’s award-winning low-profile silent cooler, designed specifically for smaller I.T.X. setups with greater RAM and PCIe clearance. The same heatsink design and NF-A9x14 P.W.M. fan as the original NH-L9i, the NH-L9i chromax.black keeps true to its moniker. The latest all-black Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black has a 37mm high heatsink that offers the same outstanding performance and quietness. The build quality is unquestionable, as Noctua has always prioritized customer satisfaction. The Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black is also equipped with the well-known SecuFirm2 low-profile mounting mechanism, supporting the LGA 1700, Intel L.G.A. 115x socket. Finally, the Cooler is backed by a 6-year Noctua guarantee.

Noctua NH-L9i Fan
NOCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black

The Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black is best for users who want 100% RAM and PCIe clearance and those opting for an I.T.X. build. The Cooler is meant for CPUs with a T.D.P. rating of around 65W, meaning overclocking with the NH-L9i is off the table. The Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black comes already equipped with the NF-A9x14 P.W.M. fan; the fan stands around 14mm in height. With its all-black appearance, the Cooler is unquestionably eye-catching. With the NH-L9i, we receive the Noctua NF-A9x14 premium chromax.black fan. The fan’s dimensions are about 92x92x14mm, although the user may also choose a 92x92x25mm fan (not included). The fan consists of nine blades with flow channels powered by Noctua’s famed SSO2 bearing. Anti-vibration cushions in all black are also supplied. The backside of the fan includes the 4-arm assembly holding the main rotor. We also get to see the CHROMAX branding alongside the electrical ratings. 

Noctua NH-L9i Heatsink
NOCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black Cold-Plate

Reviewing Noctua NH-L9i, the two copper-based heat pipes should not be ignored, which are entirely black and nickel coated. The cooler is around 23x95x95mm in dimension, with the total height being 23mm without the fan. The Cooler goes on to be around 37x95x95mm with the 14mm fans installed. The Cooler weighs about 345g without the fan while 385g with the fan installed. The chromax.black version is compatible with Intel LGA-115X only as signified by the letter i in the model NH-L9i. The copper-base plate is completely nickel-coated, around 40x40mm in size, and finished with a mirror look just like the other Noctua coolers. The mounting bars also come pre-installed on the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black. Looking at the mirror effect on the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black, it does not have the same shining effect as on other Noctua coolers. 

Noctua NH-L9i Heatsink
NOCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black Side View

The heatsink on the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black consists of a total of 55 black-coated aluminum fins. Noctua uses the soldering technique by soldering its fins to the heat pipes for more impressive cooling. The Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black includes two 6mm heat pipes welded to the fins. The mounting bar has 4x screw holes, which will be used to attach the cooler to your Motherboard. 

Noctua NH-L9i Heatsink
NOCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black Side View

The left and right sides are identical with the fins exposed, while the front and rear have a metal plating screwed on with the Noctua logo branding engraved on. The two holes on either side of the Noctua branding show the tips of the two 6mm heat pipes. We also get the arrow symbols on the fan to show us the airflow direction.  

Installation

Installing the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black is cake; there is no bracket installation/ or use of any spacers; it’s just straightforward. 

Ensure your CPU is free of any previous Thermal Paste before installing it; you may accomplish this by wiping it off with rubbing alcohol. After cleaning, add a tiny amount of the thermal paste provided with the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black on the top of the CPU. Place the cooler on top of the CPU, aligning the bracket holes with the motherboard holes. Once aligned, secure the cooler using the NM-IBT4 screws.

Noctua NH-L9i Bracket
NOCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black Installation

Once the Cooler is in position, tighten the last three screws to ensure a strong connection.

Noctua NH-L9i Bracket
NOCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black Installation

Connect the 4-pin PWM connector to a fan hub on your Motherboard once the cooler is in position. The Installation will be completed at this point.

Noctua NH-L9i Cable
NOCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black Installation

Clearance

The Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black is designed for SFF or HTPC form factor setups and boasts 100 percent RAM and PCIe compatibility. Even the tiniest cases are not a problem for the Noctua NH-L9i CPU cooler, which has a height of only 37mm.

Noctua NH-L9i Clearance
NOCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black Clearance

The RAM and PCIe clearance we receive with the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black are far from exceptional, as shown in the photos below and above.

Noctua NH-L9i Clearance
NOCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black Clearance

Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black Benchmarks

To find out if the Noctua NH-U12A was indeed an award-winning cooler, we had to run it through tests. The testing was conducted in the Thermaltake View 71t, which features three intake fans in the front and an exhaust fan in the back. The thermal paste that comes with the Noctua NH-U12A chromax.black was used.

Test System:

The latest Intel Core i9-12900K will be our friend during the testing; the rest of the specs are as below;

  • MSI MEG Z690 Unify Motherboard
  • Intel Core i9-12900K processor
  • G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB Memory @ 5600MHz
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Graphics card
  • Windows 11 Pro
  • Thermaltake View 71T

Testing Methodology:

We set the i9-12900k voltage to 1.15V, P-Cores to 4.9 GHz, and E-Cores to 3.9 GHz in BIOS. In this way, we allow the comparison with simple heatsinks by forcing consumption of around 140W. We carried out the test in Aida64 with the processor and memory boxes activated for around 5 minutes. Next, for the ranking, delta temperatures are used between the ambient temperature and the corresponding test.

Benchmarks Results

Noctua NH-L9i Benchmarks
NOCTUA NH-L9i chromax.black Benchmarks

We tested the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black against its well-known rival, the Noctua NH-U9S chromax.black, as well as the Noctua NH-U12A and other 240mm coolers to see how big of a difference we had on hand. The results were rather amazing for such a little cooler like the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black. The cooler was, of course, nowhere near the other coolers, but it was to be expected since we wanted to see how much of a difference there was for a single fan cooler, and it wasn’t much. At full CPU load, the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black kept the Intel i9-12900K at roughly 68 degrees Celsius. This demonstrated that the cooler is well than adequate for casual operations while also being able to withstand severe CPU loads.

Comparison with Other CPU Coolers

The Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black is small, but it outperforms most larger air coolers on the market. In our testing, we were more interested in comparing the NH-L9i chromax.black to the NH-U9S chromax.black, and we discovered that both coolers were extremely close in terms of thermal capabilities.

The Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black had to lose against 240mm AIOs. However, it shows that casual usage and, on occasion, a light load will not harm the NH-L9i chromax.black. As previously stated by Noctua, the NH-L9i chromax.black is intended for use in tiny cases and HTPC situations; it is best suited for CPUs with a TDP of roughly 65W, but that doesn’t imply it can’t go much higher. After our testing, we concluded that the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black is a viable alternative for customers looking for minimalistic settings that won’t tax their CPUs.

Finally, as we always say, it is up to the user to decide what is best for them, but in our opinion, the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black is the best option for tiny systems and low TDP. With its all-black look and incredible cooling capabilities, the NH-L9i chromax.black is unquestionably a class winner.

Verdict

Finishing the Noctua NH-L9i Review. The Cooler is available for roughly $50, which isn’t too bad. The cooler is not intended for extreme CPU loads or other high-power TDP workloads; rather, it is intended for casual use and smaller ITX configurations. Unlike other coolers, the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black provides 100 percent PCIe and RAM clearance, which is especially handy in tiny installations.

Because of its strong build quality and all-black finish, the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black is undoubtedly a fan favorite. The fin density and design are kept minimal, but the cooler performs as well as a larger cooler. After the rigorous testing we put it through, the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black proved to be an award-winner in its category, which is why the NH-L9i chromax.black is our pick for PC users who like stealth appearance and smaller installations.

Should You Get The Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black?

Noctua has continued to release their greatest coolers in the chromax.black series, and the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black is the latest. The NH-L9i is Noctua’s first small cooler designed for ITX and HTPC builds. Noctua’s favorite coolers are re-released with an all-black finish for an all-black stealthy aesthetic in the chromax.black series. The all-black style extends not just to the outside but also to the heat pipes, fans, vibration cushions, and screws.

The Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black is a low-profile cooler that is nearly identical to the non-chromax NH-L9i. With the fan fitted, the cooler stands roughly 37mm tall. Because of its tiny size, the CPU cooler is ideally suited for ITX setups, as it is designed for CPUs with TDP ratings of roughly 65W. The heatsink’s dimensions are 23x95x95mm, however with the fan fitted, they grow to 37x95x95mm. The cooler weighs about 385g when equipped with the fan and 345g when not equipped with the fan. The NH-L9i is only backward compatible with the Intel LGA-115x socket. The Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black’s heatsink is fully black with a nickel coating over the whole heatsink, and the two 6mm heat pipes are soldered to the fins. The Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black’s heatsink is fully black with a nickel coating over the whole heatsink, and the two 6mm heat pipes are soldered to the fins for maximum heat dissipation.

The NF-A9x14 fan comes with the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black. The fan has a maximum speed of 2500 10% RPM, whereas LNA has a maximum speed of 1800 ±10% RPM. The minimum rotating speed is around 600 ±20% RPM. The fan has a 4-pin PWM connection and a power rating of 2.52W at 0.21A when powered by 12V DC.

At the time of Reviewing Noctua NH-L9i, It is available for $50. The cooler is not intended for intense loads or overclocking, but rather for leisure gaming and other chores. We tried the cooler to see how well it performed on the Intel i9-12900K and were pleasantly surprised, which is why we recommend customers try the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black if they prefer smaller ITX designs and want 100% PCIe and RAM clearance.

Other Noctua Cooler Reviews: 

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Awais Khan is a Tech Geek, conscientious, reliable, and hardworking individual who pays attention to detail with excellent time management skills. Alongside that, he is an expert in PC Hardware; dealing with Benchmarks, Analysis, and testing before sharing information with readers.